HL Deb 08 December 1964 vol 262 cc3-4

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government why important announcements concerning Government administration in Wales by the Prime Minister in another place have not been made in this House.]


My Lords, as the House is aware, the Government usually make arrangements for important Statements which are made in another place to be repeated in this House. The Statement to which the noble Lord refers was, in fact, the oral answer to a Question for Written Answer in another place, and was consequently not repeated here. I appreciate that the noble Lord may feel that the House has been deprived of hearing an important Statement by what he may regard as a procedural accident and I am sorry if he should feel that that is so. I am looking further into the implications of the matter.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Earl for his kind reply. It seemed odd that an oral answer to a Written Question should turn out to be a Statement in another place. As I did not mention "Statement" in my Question, I rather hope that in future any replies to Questions of this nature, particularly relating to Wales, if they are Statements, may be repeated in this House.


My Lords, I will certainly pay great attention to what the noble Lord has said, and we are only too glad to hear his views on this subject at any time. Although my grandmother came from Llandeilo, I cannot promise special treatment to Wales; but we will do everything we can.


My Lords, I only hope that those who have ties with Wales, and have left us, will not forget us.


My Lords, is there not a perfectly well-known and established way to deal with these things? Even if a Question is on the Order Paper and the matter is one of an important pronouncement on policy, or an important announcement, it is perfectly competent and usual for the Prime Minister, or the Minister who answers the Question, to say in answer to the Question: "I propose to make a Statement at the end of Question Time". That is constantly done in another place. Then a similar Statement can be made here. Could not that procedure be followed? The noble Earl has given a most courteous Answer, which is what we should naturally expect from him.


My Lords, I will pay great attention to what the noble Earl has said. It certainly would not seem to be impossible or without precedent to do what he has said. On the other hand, what the Prime Minister did on this occasion was not without precedent. However, I agree with the noble Earl that this matter should be gone into further.